Report from Loony Land.. The lost days.

So I learned a few lessons this week:

1. If you stay away from your story for a whole day it is so much harder to ignore the voice in your head, that tells you it is OK to take a break from writing. That watching an episode of Vampire Diaries is absolutely fine instead of plonking your ass into the chair and strapping your fingers to the keyboard.

2. If you stay away from your story for a whole day it is so much harder to get back into the heads of your characters. They get all upset and insulted and then they turn their backs and sulk in the corner instead of whispering in your ear all the fricking time.

3. If you do throw away a whole day you just have to GET THE FUCK BACK UP ON THAT HORSE, or it will ride off without you.

 

We celebrated my daughters birthday this friday and saturday. I took friday off, telling myself that I could manage organising the whole party thing, shop, cook and clean and still have hours left over to write. And I was right.

But the thing about having lots of time is that I tend to squander it. Friday rolled around. I gave myself 1½ extra hours of sleep, got up, drove husband and daughter to work and school. Came home. And instead of doing the right thing and write my ass off for an hour or so before going shopping, I told myself I deserved a little time off to watch a little VD. Highschool Vampire Drama. It’s a slippery slope I tell you. Later I shamed myself into writing a measly 5-600 words, before allowing myself another episode.

When the last of a gaggle of 11-year-old girls had gone at 9.45 pm I was beat. Went to bed. And got up late. Ignored the voice in the back of my head telling me I had to get up and write something. Tucked myself under the covers with the Ipad and watched another episode before a new round of cooking and guests began. When I went to bed saturday I still hadn’t put a single word on paper.

So when I got up this morning my nice little 2500 word lead was gone.

Let me tell you, that is really bad for morale. My little spreadsheet of daily written words, is now full of red squares and more :-(‘s than I like. Positive reinforcement has left the building baby. So I named today Get-Back-On-The-MF-Horse day.  And my backside hurts and it feels like I have dragged words out of my brain by force. And though I am ahead in the word count again I still feel a little guilty and wasteful to have thrown away my nice little lead just to watch television.

Stats

2756/18086 (31914 to go)

I should post the stats for the other days. But I won’t. I’ll just pretend it’s never happened.

 

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Report from the Looney Land part 5 or 6… but who’s counting

November madness is starting. And by this I don’t mean NaNoWriMo. I mean the insanity of November in general. I normally don’t plan things for my weekends. I probably only have set-in-concrete plans for 10 of years 52 weekends. Apparently those ten weekends all occur in November. My stress levels are off the charts.

Last year around this time I took a course in stress management, and learned some of the physical symptoms of stress and what stress does to your body. One thing is your memory centers shrinking when confronted with stress.  And I am suffering badly. Normally I can juggle a large number of requests from co-workers and bosses, commitments and appointments. But now I have to write note after note to myself to remember even the smallest thing.

Not for the first time I wish NaNoWriMo was NaMaWriMo or NaFeWriMo.

But to be fair on myself, it is going pretty well.  I write 2-3 times a day, I am over target and if I keep up this pace I hit 50000 with a week to spare. GO ME!

Stats for the day

Words written: 2334/12838 (37162 to go)

To hell with the other stats. This is what matters.

Report from the Looney Lands part 4.

I am off for a relatively early night. I’ve done good today even though I am pretty sure that once I am editing this “book” I’ll scrap just about every damn word I wrote today. Oh well. It’s all in a good cause I suppose.

Stats for the day

Words written: 2471/8985 (41015 to go)

Cups of coffee consumed: Not enough

Hours spent staring at the screen and/or procrastinating and/or “researching”: 1

Naps taken: Sadly none.

2013-11-03 11.43.01
Went for a walk yesterday, and just like the weather, the trees are a little ambivalent about the seasons. Most of them were losing their leafs and color, but a few of them were still a light green that made me think of spring and upcoming summer.

 

And here, just before I make a belly flop into my bed. Happy B-day Bro. I hope you’ve had a great day. HUGS!

 

Report from Looney Land part 3. A pattern emerge.

I don’t know if I can call it a pattern three days into NaNoWriMo, but I can definitely say I am trying to make saner writing habits this year. I figure if I force myself to do this I might as well try and do it so I actually still want to write once December roll around.

To this end I have made two rules/survival strategies for myself and my story, oh well to be honest I have made more, but two that so far, three days in, seem to work. (I am currently successful in my No-going-back rule as well. But.. been-there-done-that. I am not holding my breath for that to keep being successful throughout November)

First rule/strategy was inspired by a post by Justine Larbalestier (here) (found via the Scrivener Facebook page) where she explains her small word count approach. Many of her reasons ring true, so I have made a deal with myself only to expect 700 words every time I sit down to write. I write in the mornings and evenings, and sometimes I manage to cram in a slot in the afternoons as well. If I aim for and manage 700 words twice a day I will not be catastrophically behind on words, and if I manage 3 rounds a 700 words a pop,  I am automatically ahead. So far it works. I aim for 700 and usually run cold around the 950 word mark. Perfect. I do better than expected, I meet the daily target and cut the risk of self recriminations in half. Yay!

Rule number two. Each session starts a new scene. It might read disjointed and hectic, unfinished, but so far it has kept me from getting stuck on small details.  A rule still in early developmental stage, but for now it is fun and easy.

Stats for the day

Words written: 2209/6514 (43486 to go) (Edit: realized the structure of this stat thing made it seem like I have been writing an increasing amount of word each day. Edited to reflect the daily/overall word count. )

Cups of coffee consumed: 2

Hours spent staring at the screen and/or procrastinating and/or “researching”: 2.

Naps taken: 0

 

Report from Looney Land part one… or how first day of NaNoWriMo went so far.

Warning: If you tire easily of inane, irrelevant nonsense turn away now. Go take a nap, hug your significant other, go out have fun, enjoy what there is to be seen of the sun. I’ll just sit here, cooped up in my little overcrowded mess of an office, surrounded by weird things like trash, headphones, teddy bears, forgotten coffee cups and stacks of notebooks with abandoned stories. I’ll be doing NaNoWriMo.

What I need to learn every damn November, over and over again, is that on the strike of midnight, when October transitions into November, the world shifts, from regular run-of-the-mill days with lazy-ass weekends in between, to middle-of-the-night alarms, to  workdays spent juggling the boss’s expectations of work effort with my droopy eyed tiredness, to hours squinting at the screen hoping some miracle will happen and this story will actually write itself.

Not unlike how a new mother forgets the pain of delivery once the baby is placed upon her chest, I have spent the past year forgetting the force of hateful self-recriminations and the whirlpoon of weird characters and plots in my head.

I have whinged and complained, I have pulled my hair out by the handfuls in frustrated preparation yes, but really, I forgot the total lunacy of getting up at 4 in the morning to wrestle an hour of writing time out of my day before going to work. I forgot how disjointed my writing gets when I try to actually write more than a couple thousand words of ONE story. I forgot it all.

So now its time to relearn.

Stats for the day

Words written: 1800 (48200 to go)

Cups of coffee consumed: 3

Hours spent staring at the screen and/or procrastinating and/or “researching”: 1½

Naps taken: 1